Bio

I am assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy at Tilburg University. I completed a PhD in Philosophy at KU Leuven in Belgium on the theory of neoliberal governmentality in Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben. Before that, I had obtained an MPhil in Philosophy and an MA in Comparative and International Politics, both from KU Leuven as well. 

My research concerns primarily economic topics like socio-economic exclusion, financialization, and the digitalization of work viewed from the lens of continental critical thought (especially Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Antonio Negri, Gilles Deleuze, etc.). I am a founding member of the Low Countries chapter of the Italian Thought Network (http://italianthoughtnetwork.com/), which promotes the study and dissemination of Italian philosophy beyond the Italian peninsula.

Expertise

My research focus lies on the intersection between political philosophy, economic ethics, and philosophy of technology. During my PhD I primarily built on Giorgio Agamben's genealogy of 'oikonomia' from early Christianity to Adam Smith's liberalism to study how modern, neoliberal economic concepts and intuitions historically derive from theological sources. The main finding was that neoliberal economists tend to justify exclusion and deprivation by unknowingly repurposing refrains from Christian theodicies.

After my PhD, I have turned to studying the impact of digital technology on work. I am currently preparing a book for Rowman & Littlefield on the meaning of workers' autonomy in the digital gig economy. More and more people are working as independent contractors for digital platform companies and the main question is how this work can be organized in more wholesome and less exploitative ways.

Teaching

I teach courses on economic ethics and philosophy of culture to Bachelor and Master students in philosophy, and political philosophy and economic ethics to Bachelor students outside philosophy. 

Courses

Recent publications

  1. Agamben's 'bare life' and Grossman's ethics of senseless kindness

    Christiaens, T. (2022). Agamben's 'bare life' and Grossman's ethics of senseless kindness. Journal of European Studies, 52(1), 36-53. [00472441211072611].
  2. Biomedical technocracy, the networked public sphere and the biopoliti…

    Christiaens, T. (2022). Biomedical technocracy, the networked public sphere and the biopolitics of COVID-19: notes on the Agamben affair. Culture, Theory and Critique.
  3. Michel Foucault, een neoliberale schaatsenrijder?

    Christiaens, T. (2022). Michel Foucault, een neoliberale schaatsenrijder? Karakter: Tijdschrift van Wetenschap, 77(1), 13-15. https://www.tijdschriftkarakter.be/michel-foucault-een-neoliberale-schaatsenrijder/
  4. “Platform Socialism: How to Reclaim our Digital Futures” (James Muldo…

    Christiaens, T. (2022). “Platform Socialism: How to Reclaim our Digital Futures” (James Muldoon). Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
  5. Precarity as a Mode of Being-in-the-World in Michel Houellebecq’s Pos…

    Christiaens, T. (2022). Precarity as a Mode of Being-in-the-World in Michel Houellebecq’s Possibilité d’une Île. Modern and Contemporary France.

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